Below, we’ve highlighted the most interesting options that we’re expecting to see throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond. These are phones that in most cases are likely to be great, and at the very least should be interesting, unusual, or innovative.
Samsung Galaxy S22 range
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is a bit further out than some phones on this list, but it’s still coming fairly soon, with a January 2022 launch looking likely.
Whenever it does land, rumors suggest that the range – likely to include the S22, Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – will have similar screens and designs to the Galaxy S21 range, but with next-generation chipsets. On that front, it’s reported that most of the world could get a Snapdragon chipset, due to production issues with Samsung’s next Exynos one.
Where we could see bigger changes is in the cameras, especially on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, with one source suggesting that it could have a 200MP main snapper – though others say it will stick with 108MP.
Either way, the telephoto camera could get a useful upgrade, with continuous optical zoom possibly being offered, meaning you’d be able to optically zoom from 2x up to whatever its maximum is – probably 10x. On the current model you can only zoom to 3x or 10x – any in between number will be a digital or hybrid zoom instead.
The OnePlus 9T isn’t happening, so instead we’re looking towards the OnePlus 10 as the company’s next big phone.
This upcoming model isn’t something that we know much about yet, but expect it to be a significant upgrade on the OnePlus 9, since there will likely be a year’s gap between the two – where usually OnePlus launches a flagship every six months.
We know that it will feature brand new software, and we’d expect the camera to get some big upgrades to make the most of the company’s Hasselblad partnership. Beyond that, a new, more powerful chipset is almost certain to be included, with the Snapdragon 898 being the likely candidate.
Xiaomi 12 range
The Xiaomi Mi 11 impressed us a lot and while the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was rather more flawed, it was certainly interesting, so we’re keen to see what Xiaomi cooks up for the Xiaomi 12 range (having ditched ‘Mi’ from the name).
Rumors so far suggest that the Xiaomi 12 or Xiaomi 12 Ultra could have a quad-lens camera, possibly with a 192MP or 200MP main sensor, which would be the most megapixels we’ve seen on a smartphone.
It’s also likely to have a top-end Snapdragon 895 chipset, and might even have incredibly fast 200W charging.
We might not have long to wait for it either, with leaks suggesting the Xiaomi 12 range could be unveiled before the end of 2021. That said, this unveiling would probably just be for China, with a global launch likely happening around February 2022.
Huawei P50 range
The Huawei P50 range has actually already been announced, but it’s initially only available in China, so we’re still waiting for a global launch.
It could be worth the wait though, as the top model – the Huawei P50 Pro – has a 6.6-inch 1228 x 2700 OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 888 chipset, up to 12GB of RAM, and a quad-lens camera, with a 50MP main sensor, a 64MP telephoto one (with 3.5x optical and 200x digital zoom), a 13MP ultra-wide, and a 40MP monochrome camera.
It also has a 4,360mAh battery with 66W fast charging, but due to the ongoing Huawei ban it runs the company’s new HarmonyOS 2 rather than Android, and is also stuck without 5G.
The standard Huawei P50 is a similar phone in a lot of ways, but with a slightly smaller screen, a 90Hz refresh rate, a 4,100mAh battery, and a different camera arrangement, consisting of a 50MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, and 12MP telephoto camera, with 5x optical zoom.